Rachel Cusk on her selection:
Tennyson’s In Memoriam crops up in the dullest Victorian stretches of an English Literature degree, and so the glimmering self-utterance that stutters into life across its (intimidating) number of lyric sequences has the impact - for the browbeaten student - of the birth of modernity. I read it then, and picked it up again much later in life, in a time whose trials and revelations it seemed almost to have prophesied. If this is the most one can expect literature to do, it does it. The lyrics I’ve chosen are the two in which I find the most sustenance, partly for the contrast offered by their two very different readings of the process and moral structure of change.
In Memoriam 95 [By night we linger'd] at The Poetry Foundation
In Memoriam 106 [Ring out, wild bells] at The Poetry Foundation
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